By Sherry Lucas
Christmas is coming, and all the related cheer is certainly not far behind. In Clinton, the Santa Claus Crawl pulls together all the chummy camaraderie of a special night out with all the seasonal practicality of shopping ease.
The Main Street Clinton event kicks Yuletide fun into high gear December 2 on the brick streets of Olde Towne.
The ticketed event makes a big Santa splash each Christmas season, with specially designed Santa keepsake mugs and T-shirts to mark the year and a few precious Thursday night hours to shop with friends and loved ones and a get a head start on the holiday hoopla.
Tickets are $25 in advance — on sale through December 1 online at www.MainStreetClintonMS.com or at the Main Street Clinton office — and $30 on the day of the event (purchase at the Main Street Clinton tent). T-shirt supplies are limited, but Santa Claus Crawlers can purchase them online when they buy tickets.
Crawlers can check in at 6 p.m. on December 2 — enjoy the Lighting of the City Christmas tree at the same time! — and then get the mug that’ll designate them an official Santa Claus Crawler for the evening.
Mug in hand, revelers travel from one participating Main Street business to the next, sipping cider and voting on best beverage, browsing the aisles and interiors, and signing up for fun door prizes at each.
With a usual head count of around 125 people who do the Santa Claus Crawl and participating businesses numbered at nineteen at press time, “the chances of winning are pretty good,” says Main Street Clinton Director Tara Lytal. Non-retail businesses usually prepare a gift basket or gift certificates. The event’s door prizes have a $50 value. Turner the Train will be riding through the district, ready to ferry folks from one spot to the next, if needed.
The event is a sure-fire draw for a ladies’ night out or mother-daughter time, but couples, too, are among the loyal Crawl fans.
As the shopping winds down, revelers can head to the Olde Towne Depot for the After Party that starts at 8 p.m., where beverages, hors d’oeuvres and music await. Local restaurants 303 Jefferson, The Bank, Meme’s Brick Street Bakery, Great Wall and possibly more will supply the spread of savory and sweet snacks.
Santa Claus himself will show up to help with door prize giveaways, ensuring some participants will enjoy some extra bounty before the evening is over.
Shoppers may also want to mark their calendars for the free Brick Street Jingle on Thursday, December 9. Participating Main Street Clinton businesses will offer extended shopping hours — until 8:30 p.m. — that day, providing Christmas season convenience to both local and out-of-town customers. Many will offer discounts or special offers for the occasion, giving Clintonians even more incentive to shop local and support Clinton businesses.